, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 187-196,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 19 Oct 2008

A biology-based approach for quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSARs) in ecotoxicity


Quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSARs) for ecotoxicity can be used to fill data gaps and limit toxicity testing on animals. QSAR development may additionally reveal mechanistic information based on observed patterns in the data. However, the use of descriptive summary statistics for toxicity, such as the 4-day LC50 for fish, introduces bias and ignores valuable kinetic information in the data. Biology-based methods use all of the toxicity data in time to derive time-independent and unbiased parameter estimates. Such an approach offers whole new opportunities for mechanism-based QSAR development. In this paper, we apply the hazard model from DEBtox to analyse survival data for fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas). Different modes of action resulted in different patterns in the parameter estimates, and therefore, the toxicity data by themselves reveal insight into the actual mechanism of toxic action.